On the same day Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky would introduce a color-coded system to guide schools as in-person instruction resumes — or, at least, nears a return — one local school system made a popular decision.
Russell Independent, along with several other area schools, will now offer in-person instruction starting Sept. 28, which is based on Beshear’s recommendation from last month.
The Daily Independent’s story on this subject induced happy reactions, including numerous likes and shares on Facebook.
Area parents seem to be ready to send their children backpacking back to school buildings.
How will Kentuckians and state schools adjust to the new color-coded metrics? That remains to be seen, but one could look to West Virginia for a potential blueprint.
Is this a “be careful what you wish for” scenario?
Things could turn at the drop of a hat — or at the rise of a virus.
A new dashboard, which will be accessible at kycovid19.ky.gov, will almost become like a snow-day tracker during a bad winter.
School leaders and parents alike will keep this tab open on their computers, refreshing constantly to know what the next day or week may bring.
If daily virus cases number one or fewer per 100,000 residents in a county, that county is green.
If cases number fewer than 10 (per 100,000), the county is yellow.
An orange county (not to be confused with a portion of California) will contain 10-25 cases per 100,000.
That’s when a county is nearing a danger zone, or at least a zone of possible change. At the orange level, that county’s schools must prepare for a return to strictly virtual learning.
Once a county hits red (25-plus cases per 100,000), in-person instruction, sports and extracurricular activities must be suspended immediately for the following week.
Keep in mind, if/when doing the math, Boyd County’s population is slightly less than 50,000, Greenup County’s is close to 35,000 and Carter County’s is just less than 30,000.
Schools will be expected to review the color level of its county at 8 p.m. every Thursday in an effort to determine the following week’s status.
While this will keep everyone on their toes, the best way to avoid a spike is to use your head, cover your face and wash your hands.